Saturday, January 20, 2018
Politics

Rick Scott's Let's Get to Work political committee rakes in $695,447

Gov. Rick Scott's Let's Get to Work political committee posted $695,447 in contributions from 91 sources while he was highlighting the state to foreign aviation interests as part of Enterprise Florida's trade mission to the Paris Air Show. The Tallahassee-based committee supporting Scott has drawn more than $6.6 million since the start of the year, with $1.27 million since the start of June.

In 2012, the group collected $4.79 million and Scott, who spent more than $70 million on his 2010 campaign, has yet to actually open his own campaign account for 2014 although he has announced he's running. The campaign committee money gives Scott an early edge over any Democratic challenger.

As for contributions posted last week by Let's Get to Work, $127,750 came from health care interests and $308,798 from individuals and groups tied to real estate, development, banking, consulting and legal interests.

U.S. Sugar, one of the major agricultural businesses in the Everglades Agricultural Area, put $100,000 into the account. The U.S. Sugar contribution came in the wake of Scott's May 28 signing of HB 7065, which alters the Everglades Forever Act by designating $32 million a year for the River of Grass' upkeep. U.S. Sugar supported the bill.

The Florida Realtors PAC put $75,000 into the fund, and FCCI Services of Sarasota was good for $50,000. St. Petersburg designer Ronald Wanek, Arcadia consultants KT Brightwaters LLC, the Campaign Account of Carlton Fields, Palm Beach developer Howard Leach and St. Petersburg developer Mel Sembler each gave $25,000.

A Dolphin scorned

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hinted at political revenge last month against the Florida House of Representatives lawmakers who stood in the way of a proposed renovation to Sun Life Stadium. It didn't take him long to follow through.

Last week, voters in three districts received fliers attacking state Reps. Jose Felix Diaz, Carlos Trujillo and Michael Bileca, three Miami Republicans who opposed the $350 million stadium redo that would have been partly funded by public dollars. The mailers were sent by Florida Jobs First, a new super PAC created by Ross, Politico reported Monday.

The political action committee will support Republican Gov. Scott's re-election campaign next year and play a "nonpartisan" effort in other Florida races, according to Politico. The governor all but endorsed the Dolphins' proposal.

Ross, a billionaire real-estate developer, is a longtime GOP fundraiser. But he was incensed at some in his own party who blocked the stadium legislation during this year's session, chief among them House Speaker Will Weatherford. The legislation was required to allow Miami-Dade to ask voters whether public money should be spent on the stadium upgrades.

Information from the News Service of Florida and Miami Herald staff writer Patricia Mazzei contributed to this report.

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